What are the Benefits of Lying in a Sauna?

Saunas are everywhere—at health clubs, spas, in hotel rooms, in apartment communities, rehabilitation centers, sports complexes, swimming pools, and in private homes. The reason saunas are so popular is simple. Lying in a sauna is a great way to relax and unwind, but did you know that saunas are not only good for mental health, but they may also be good for physical health too? Some may disagree, while others offer a convincing argument for using saunas for detoxification, weight loss, cellulite reduction, pain relief, the treatment of respiratory problems, and to help clear skin problems. So how does relaxing in a sauna accomplish all of this? According to Fuller Fitness:

During a 10-20 minute sauna session, your heart rate increases by 50-75%. This provides the same metabolic result as physical exercise. The increased cardiac load is the equivalent to a brisk walk. There is a nominal effect on blood pressure because the heat also causes blood vessels in skin to expand to accommodate increased blood flow.

Blood vessels become more flexible and there is increased circulation to the extremities. During a sauna, blood flow to the skin increases to as high as 50-70% of cardiac output (compared to the standard 5-10%). This brings nutrients to subcutaneous and surface tissue resulting in glowing healthy skin.

Steambaths and saunas induce sweating to provide a comprehensive cleansing of the skin and sweat glands. Skin is the largest organ in the body. Thirty percent of body wastes are passed through the skin. Profuse sweating enhances the detoxifying capacity of the skin by opening pores and flushing impurities from the body.

When taking a sauna, skin temperature rises to 40°C (104°F) and internal body temperature rises to about 38°C (100.4°F). Exposure to the high heat creates an artificial fever state. Fever is part of the body’s natural healing process. Fever stimulates the immune system resulting in increased production of disease fighting white blood cells, antibodies and interferon (an anti viral protein with cancer fighting capability).

Spas and other such therapeutic facilities utilize saunas and steambaths in conjunction with massage to loosen fatty tissue and assist in the battle against cellulite.

The cleansing effect of profuse perspiration helps provide healthy skin and a clear complexion.

Before using a sauna, there are a number of precautions to follow. Harvard Men’s Health Watch offers the following advice:

·Avoid alcohol and medications that may impair sweating and produce overheating before and after your sauna.
·Stay in no more than 15–20 minutes.
·Cool down gradually afterward.
·Drink two to four glasses of cool water after each sauna.
·Don’t take a sauna when you are ill, and if you feel unwell during your sauna, head for the door.

Many people can tolerate the intense heat in a sauna, while others cannot. If you have high blood pressure or a cardiovascular condition, check with your doctor to make sure it’s ok to use a sauna.


Vegan diet kills 11 month old

Vegans Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou fed their 11-month-old daughter Louise only mother’s milk, and she died suffering from a vitamin deficiency. The two are currently on trial in northern France, charged with neglect.

The pair called the emergency services in March 2008 after becoming worried about their baby’s listlessness. When the ambulance arrived, the baby was already dead.

According to Yahoo Health:

“An autopsy showed that Louise was suffering from a vitamin A and B12 deficiency which experts say increases a child’s sensitivity to infection and can be due to an unbalanced diet … The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to hospitalize the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.”

Breast milk is the best food hands-down you can give to your baby. But, it does have one downfall: its nutritional value is influenced by the mother’s diet. If the mother is consuming a diet that tends to be deficient in nutrients, such as a vegan diet, nutrients will be missing in her breast milk.

In the tragic case reported above, it appears 11-month-old Louise lost her life because her mom’s vegan diet created vitamin deficiencies in the breast milk she was exclusively fed on. Sadly, there were warning signs that the milk was not providing proper nutrition months before her death, as the baby was sickly and losing weight, but they were ignored.

People following a strict vegan diet are often convinced that it is the healthiest way of eating possible, which was most likely the case with Louise’s parents. But this tragedy can serve as a powerful warning for those who choose to avoid all animal foods.

Yahoo Health


Hot dogs better than chicken?

Many people when shopping for a convenient ready to eat meat at the grocery store would choose rotisserie chicken over hot dogs or pepperoni, but as it turns out in a new study, they’d be wrong. Surprisingly, according to a new study, hot dogs and similar meats like pepperoni and deli meats are relatively free from carcinogenic compounds, and rotisserie chicken would be the riskier option.

The carcinogens in question are heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are compounds found in meat that has been fried, grilled or cooked at high temperatures. Diets high in HCAs from meat increase people’s risk of stomach, breast and colon cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers from Kansas State University tested the HCA levels of eight popular ready-to-eat meat products: beef hot dogs, beef-pork-turkey hot dogs, deli roast beef, deli ham, deli turkey, fully cooked bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken.

Pepperoni had the lowest levels of HCAs; hot dogs and deli meat came in second. Overall, these products were low in HCAs, researchers said, while cooked bacon and rotisserie chicken meat had the highest levels. However, rotisserie chicken skin had the highest levels of HCAs overall.

But, before you go purchase pepperoni, consider that its low HCA levels may have to do with processing, which is in itself a health hazard. According to a KSU statement.

Remember, You cannot judge the danger of a food by its HCA content alone, which is based on the manner in which its been cooked. You also have to evaluate all those added ingredients, such as preservatives, flavoring, and food colors. Hot dogs, deli meats and bacon are notorious for their nitrite content, so even though they might be low in HCA’s, they are far from healthful.


Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A can be tricky. Take too much and you may increase your risk of osteoporosis, fatigue, and other conditions. Take too little and you may experience hair loss or even night blindness. This means, the key to taking vitamin A is balance whether it’s taken in supplement form or obtained through foods.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) level for adults age 19 and older is 770 mcg/day (2,600 units). The maximum UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Levels) is 3,000 mcg/day (10,000 units). Taking the right amount of vitamin A can help with vision, immune, and cell growth support. Vitamin A is also effective for the treatment and prevention of deficiency in people with diabetes, over-active thyroid, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, protein deficiency, fever, and an inherited disorder called abetalipoproteinemia. This condition prevents a person from fully absorbing dietary fats through the intestines.

Vitamin A is possibly effective for:

•Improving recovery from laser eye surgery
•Preventing breast cancer
•Prevention of cataracts
•Reducing complications of diseases such as malaria, HIV, measles, and diarrhea in children with vitamin A deficiency
•Reducing problems during pregnancy and after giving birth in underfed (malnourished) women

To avoid vitamin A deficiency, it’s easy to obtain the RDA from foods such as orange-colored fruits and vegetables, green vegetables, oily saltwater fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, butter, whole milk, and fortified margarine. You can even get vitamin A from spices such as cayenne pepper and chili pepper. If you feel that you are not getting enough vitamin A from foods, supplements are the next best thing. Vitamin A supplements are marketed under the following names:

3-Dehydroretinol, Antixerophthalmic Vitamin, Axerophtholum, Dehydroretinol, Fat-Soluble Vitamin, Oleovitamin A, Retinoids, Retinol, Rétinol, Retinol Acetate, Retinol Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2, Vitamina A, Vitamine A, and Vitaminum A.

Be careful when taking supplements. There’s no need to take more than the RDA. If you feel that you need to take more, you can avoid consuming excessive amounts by limiting your intake to 3,000 mcg/day or less, unless it’s under the care of a physician.


The “After Burn” may not be a myth

We’ve all heard about the “After Burn” effect of exercise.

That coveted condition where the body continues to burn calories long after we’ve finished working out.

Well, it seems that science may have proven that this does indeed happen and at a higher and more intense rate than expected.

Studies which are done properly (many are not), find that extra calories are burned in the hours after exercise — but only if subjects exercise hard and long; intensely for 45 minutes.

And if they exercise even harder, they burn even more calories afterward.


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